giving up, taking on…

today is ash wednesday, the start of lent.  i grew up in a Christian home, but my mother was raised catholic, so lent was a pretty big deal.  we were always encouraged to “give something up” as we went through the lenten season, preparing for Easter.

i often chose things that were simple for me to let go of for 40 days.  like ice cream.  it really wasn’t important to me, though i did enjoy it.  and usually i wouldn’t last all 40 days because after a while, it seemed silly to me.  Jesus sacrificed His life for me.  was the sacrifice of no ice cream really a big deal?

this year i have been convicted to give something up.  this past weekend, i was a part of a women’s retreat on contentment.  our speaker encouraged us to really look into our hearts and see where we struggle with contentment.  she said some of what we may come up with may seem silly, especially if we say it out loud.  and she challenged us to finish this sentence, “if i had _______, i’d be content.”

i didn’t even need to think about it.  i knew my answer immediately, before i even had time to say the sentence, let alone fill in the blank.

“if i had a newer,  bigger house, i’d be content.”

yep, that’s it.  that’s me.  wow!  seems silly to think it.  even sillier to speak it.  but there it is.

i am an architect’s daughter.  floor plans, blueprints, and home shows all surrounded me as a child.  to this day, these are things that i love.  love.

and often i find myself driving through other neighborhoods imagining what the homes are like inside and what i’d change about them if i had one of them.  and how much easier my life would be if i had more space-a mudroom, a laundry room, a pantry, a master bathroom, a longer driveway, a deck, a patio.  the list could go on and on.

and i spend time looking at houses online.  checking out the rooms to see if they’re big enough, if the furniture could be arranged the way i’d like.  are the paint colors good?  is there too much wallpaper?  again, on and on and on.

yet, God has given me a home.  and we fit well here.  and it’s a good home.  a solid, old, character filled home.  it’s an answer to prayer.  it is His provision.  and wonderful provision at that!

why do i want more?

i am giving up houses for lent.  no more driving around looking at them.  no more looking at them online.  i’m finished, for at least the next 40 days.

this past weekend, i was also encouraged to not only give something up, but to take something on.  and exercise it is.

for the next 40 days, i will exercise every day.  every day.

i hope by Easter, to be very content with our home that God has so graciously provided.  and i hope that this body, His temple, is in much better shape.

here we go…

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